AUT embraces sustainability through the operation of our facilities. Projects that provide sustainability benefits are being implemented as we move to environmentally restorative practices.
Five beehives at the North Campus produce honey that is used and sold in the AUT cafes. Also at the North Campus, a ‘solitary bee’ hotel has been constructed. It is based on designs by students from the School of Art and Design. Many native bees are solitary, so this hotel will support them as well as other insects.. Bees are essential for supporting the growth of a significant amount of the food we eat and for pollinating our native plants and trees.
A preference for native plants is incorporated into plant and tree selections around the AUT campuses. A 2019 native tree survey of our three campuses found:
This building, opened in 2018, is the home of the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. Sustainability measures included in the design of the building are:
The Manu Hauroa building opened in 2017. Some of the sustainability measures include:
AUT has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2025 (compared to a 2015 baseline).
AUT is committed to decarbonising our operations with the following sustainability measures:
Here is a breakdown of our emissions in 2019, which generated 13,034 tonnes of CO2e*:
*The information provided has not been audited however we are working with the other New Zealand universities to ensure that our methodologies are in line with theirs.
AUT has been implementing energy efficiency projects since 2009. Some projects completed over the past couple of years include:
In 2015 AUT signed a Collaboration Agreement with EECA that provides a framework for continuing and implementing additional energy efficiency initiatives.
Four of AUT’s cafés (#newsfeed, Kaife, the Counter and Refuel) are Conscious Consumer accredited under four badges:
Only free range eggs and Fairtrade coffee are used at all the AUT cafes and all the packaging is compostable, except for the plastic beverage bottles.
Conscious Consumer website
Planter boxes are used for growing herbs and vegetables at the North Campus. Students are encouraged to take what they need and help maintain the gardens so they can learn how to grow their own food.
The planter boxes are part of a student led initiative called Foodie Godmother.
Mobile phone recycling stations are on all three campuses for students to use. Phones are either refurbished for reuse or sent to Japan for recycling.
AUT recycles IT items at the North, South and City campuses, including:
Check Auckland Council’s Recycler directory to find a company to recycle equipment you have at home.
AUT commissioned Fujitsu to benchmark ICT’s activities against New Zealand and global organisations. AUT scored 55%, where global best practice is over 80%. All New Zealand organisations that were benchmarked averaged a score of 37%. AUT’s key areas for improvement include:
Most full time tertiary students are eligible for a tertiary student concession, which gives you discounted travel on public buses, trains and ferries with an AT HOP card.
Check out the AT website for travel planning options.
New Zealand’s first electric bus operates on the AUT shuttle service between the City and South campuses. The body of the bus was designed and manufactured in New Zealand and the bus is providing valuable AUT research for PhD candidates around the impact of deploying commercial electric vehicles. The electric bus has a range of 180km before it needs to be charged and CO2 emissions are reduced by 80% per trip in comparison to a diesel bus.
There is bicycle and motorcycle parking available on each campus.
Ways we are reducing waste at AUT:
AUT is working with staff and students to eliminate single use plastic from AUT. If we don’t act now, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea (by weight) than fish.
Our cafes now only use compostable packaging, except for plastic beverage bottles. AUT Student Association’s Vesbar is also offering metal reusable straws and eliminating plastic bags.
On the North Campus there are several management measures that reduce the amount of storm water runoff from the campus.
Vegetated swales and vegetated filter gardens were designed to absorb some rainwater and filter contaminants before runoff goes to storm water drains. Underground tanks also collect rainwater from the roofs of two buildings and are used for flushing toilets in these buildings. This water would otherwise go to storm water drains.